CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum

Est. Reading: 7 minutes

Written by Juan Romero ON April 27, 2024

When looking for CBD products, you will often come across terms such as full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate. They might look alike, but they're pretty different. These labels are important because they tell you what's in the CBD oil you're choosing. Each type has its own benefits, depending on what you prefer.

Choosing the right CBD products can be tricky, especially when figuring out CBD potency levels.

This article will mainly talk about CBD isolate vs full-spectrum, so you can understand the differences and choose the one that suits your needs best.

The Different Spectrums of CBD

  • Full spectrum
  • Broad spectrum
  • Isolate

These CBD types vary in how they're extracted and made, and they act differently in your endocannabinoid system. Knowing a bit about each can help you determine which is right for you.

Let's briefly go over the extraction process and the different spectrums of CBD oil.

CBD Oils Contain More Than Just CBD

CBD oils are more than just CBD; they also contain other compounds. Cannabis sativa produces over 100 phytocannabinoids, and CBD and THC are the most well-known among them. But there are other important ones, like CBN and CBG.

When you buy a CBD oil product, it will specify if it's full-spectrum or broad-spectrum, indicating the presence or absence of THC. The product will also mention if there are other cannabinoids like CBN or CBG in the mix.

Understanding this information is important to help you compare CBD isolate vs full-spectrum and figure out which one is the best fit for your daily CBD consumption.

Hemp Extracts: What Makes Them Different?

When raw hemp goes through extraction, the cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes are taken from the plant and mixed into a carrier oil. However, the specific mix of cannabinoids in your CBD oil can vary depending on the cannabis strain used.

Hemp-based extracts typically have less than 0.3% THC, making them non-intoxicating and high in CBD. On the other hand, extracts from other strains may have equal amounts of CBD and THC or THC content above 0.3%.

What CBD manufacturers do with these cannabinoids determines whether the final product is labeled as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or just CBD isolate.

Now that we've touched on how they're made, let's explore each CBD spectrum and what it means for you.

What is Full Spectrum CBD?

Full spectrum CBD includes all the natural compounds from the Cannabis sativa plant – not just cannabidiol, but also terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids, including a tiny bit of THC (usually less than 0.3%, as the law requires).

Even though the THC in full-spectrum CBD is very low, it's unlikely to make you feel high. But remember, over time, a bit of THC can build up in your system. This might be a concern if your workplace requires you to have no THC in your system.

If having a bit of THC in your CBD oil isn't a concern for you, full-spectrum CBD could be a good choice. However, laws regarding CBD and hemp products can vary between US states, so it's important to check the rules in your state and consider any workplace policies. Some places may have strict rules about having any THC in your system, even if it's from using full-spectrum CBD.

If that's a concern, go for CBD products labeled as broad spectrum. While they're not supposed to have THC, there could still be tiny amounts.

Pros of Full Spectrum CBD:

Full Entourage Effect: Full spectrum CBD lets you experience the full entourage effect, where all the plant compounds work together for maximum benefits.

Least Processed Form: It's the least processed form of CBD, meaning it's closer to its natural state.

Terpenes and Flavonoids: Full-spectrum CBD includes terpenes and flavonoids, which may bring extra health advantages.

Cons of Full Spectrum CBD:

THC Content and Legal Issues: The THC content might pose problems with local laws, especially if there are strict regulations on THC.

Strong Hemp Aroma: Full-spectrum CBD carries the strong, natural aroma of hemp, which may be too much for some people.

Risk for Work-Related THC Testing: For jobs where contact with THC is strictly prohibited, full-spectrum CBD is not recommended. While it shouldn't typically result in a positive drug test, it's better not to take any risks.

Full Spectrum CBD is best for:

Three types of consumers often prefer broad spectrum (0% THC) over full spectrum (<0.3%).

Athletes: Those who participate in physical activities may choose 0% THC to avoid potential sensitivity issues.

Psychological Disorders: People with disorders like schizophrenia may choose 0% THC to prevent any negative psychological symptoms.

High Sensitivity to THC: People who are highly sensitive to THC may prefer broad-spectrum CBD to avoid any potential side effects.

What is a CBD Isolate?

CBD isolate is like pure CBD with nothing else – no other plant material. Even though it's just CBD, getting it takes more effort. When we extract CBD from the hemp plant, we usually get all the beneficial compounds, like terpenes and flavonoids. But to make CBD isolate, we need to take extra steps to make sure it's super pure and safe to use. It's like making sure we only get the CBD and nothing else.

CBD isolates are like the super-concentrated version of CBD. A single isolate can have up to 99% pure CBD, making it really strong in terms of CBD content. But having more CBD doesn't necessarily mean it's better or has more benefits. CBD isolates are great for cooking or mixing with foods and drinks when you want a really concentrated form of CBD.

However, because CBD isolates don't use the whole hemp plant, they miss out on the full benefits that come from the entourage effect. Plus, the extraction process for isolates is more expensive and detailed, making them less popular for daily wellness routines.

Pros of CBD Isolate:

High Concentration: It's the most concentrated form of CBD, packing a lot of CBD power.

Versatility: CBD isolates are versatile and can be easily mixed with various foods and drinks.

Odorless: Doesn't have a strong smell, making it suitable for those who prefer unscented products.

Cons of CBD Isolate:

Lacks Entourage Effect Benefits: It doesn't provide all the benefits associated with the entourage effect, as it's just pure CBD without other plant compounds.

Isolate CBD is best for:

It is ideal for users who need to take very high doses of CBD.

CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum: Which is Better?

Both full-spectrum CBD and isolated CBD come from hemp, which means the cannabis plants must have less than 0.3% THC to be classified as "hemp." The way CBD is extracted from hemp determines whether the final product will be an isolate or full-spectrum CBD.

Full-spectrum CBD is extracted from the entire plant, so it contains various cannabinoids and terpenes alongside CBD. This includes CBG, CBN, and CBC, as well as several terpenes and flavonoids. In contrast, CBD isolate goes through a process to isolate only CBD, ensuring the final product is pure cannabidiol without any other compounds.

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD. During extraction and filtration, all other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and plant matter are removed. At the end of this process, CBD isolate takes the form of a crystalline powder and consists of about 99% pure CBD.

How to Decide Which One is Best for You?

Both full-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate come with their own pros and cons. Full-spectrum CBD is often thought to offer more therapeutic effects, but there are situations where pure CBD might be the better choice.

When to use full-spectrum CBD?

Chronic Pain and Insomnia: Full-spectrum CBD, with its diverse compounds from cannabis, is considered more beneficial for managing chronic pain and insomnia due to the entourage effect.

When to use CBD isolate?

THC Sensitivity or Job Restrictions: CBD isolate is suitable if you are sensitive to THC or need to avoid it due to workplace restrictions.

You might also choose to use both CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD. For instance, using low doses of CBD isolate during the day for its stimulating and anti-anxiety effects, and opting for myrcene-rich full-spectrum CBD at night for its more sedative effects.

What is 100 Pure CBD?

"100% pure CBD" typically refers to a CBD isolate, which is the purest form of cannabidiol. CBD isolate is extracted from the cannabis plant and refined to remove all other cannabinoids, terpenes, and plant matter, leaving behind only pure CBD in a crystalline form.

This form of CBD contains no THC or other cannabinoids, making it a popular choice for individuals who want to avoid any trace of THC or other compounds found in the cannabis plant. It's often used in products where users desire a highly concentrated and pure form of CBD, such as CBD isolate oils, capsules, or edibles.


How Many mg of CBD Are in a Gram of CBD Isolate?

The exact amount of CBD in a gram of CBD isolate can vary slightly depending on the manufacturing process and the specific product. However, in general, a gram of CBD isolate typically contains around 990 milligrams to 1,000 milligrams of pure CBD. This means that it's nearly 100% pure CBD, with minimal trace elements of other cannabinoids or plant compounds.

What form of CBD is Best for Beginners?

For beginners, CBD oil tinctures are often recommended. Tinctures are easy to use, and they allow for precise dosage control. You can start with a low dose and gradually increase it as needed. Additionally, tinctures have faster onset times compared to some other forms of CBD, making it easier for beginners to measure their response.

Which form of CBD is most effective?

The effectiveness of CBD depends on what you prefer. If you want a more comprehensive approach, full-spectrum CBD might be better, while CBD isolate is for those who want only pure CBD, avoiding other cannabinoids like THC. Your choice depends on what you need, and it's a good idea to start with a small amount and consult a healthcare professional if you have an anxiety disorder.

Bottom Line

In the cannabis world, both CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD have their roles. People often believe that full-spectrum CBD is more therapeutic, but there are situations where CBD isolate comes in handy. This applies to any isolated cannabinoid, whether it's from the psychoactive cannabis (marijuana) or hemp plant. The choice depends on your specific needs and preferences.

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The statements made by Carmen’s Medicinals have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. By buying CBD-based products on the Carmen’s Medicinals website, you agree to follow the Privacy Policy and all Terms & Conditions. The information given in this website does not substitute the one given by healthcare practitioners. THC DISCLOSURE The products sold on this site contain less than 0.3% of THC. Not to be sold to persons under the legal age in each state. If you suffer from a severe medical condition or consume other medication, you should consult your physician before use.
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